Ben Thanh market is one of the most attractive destinations in Ho Chi Minh city. It provides you within interesting lens into the local life. Here are 7 tips to help you keep your wallet safe at Ben Thanh market and upgrading your bargaining skill when visiting through there.
Do not buy the things at the first sight…
If you find a place that particularly catches your attention, make a note of where it is. Though it is not the biggest market, it is easy to get lost here-which is probably not a bad thing as you will most likely end up finding another bargain elsewhere. One thing you know for sure is to try to haggle as much as you can. Sellers will give you a very high price as a start!!!
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Do not make up a fixed price in your mind before you start to bargain
After checking out a few places, you will get a sense of what their starting prices are. You can typically go lower than that starting price and pay between 1/3 or 1/4 of the starting price. We make sure you can go even lower than this but by this point.
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Be friendly as you can…
There’s no need to take things so seriously especially if you’re just visiting as a tourist. Therefore, relax and keep your smile…
Think about your luggage restrictions…
It is so easy to get carried away with items that you ‘just had to have’ only to get back to your hotel and find out that it doesn’t even fit into your luggage or is too heavy to take with you. You will just end up disappointing yourself when you have to leave it at the hotel, hostel or airport.
Be prepared to walk away from a deal…
This actually gives you more power and in most cases, will get you called back by the seller with an acceptance of your ‘lowest offer price’. You could just walk a few stalls down and find the exact same item at a much cheaper price. Only walk away when you know that you’re happy with the price you’ve asked for as when they call you back, it’s typically to accept that price.
Even if they cannot answer them (perhaps out of not knowing the answer of out of language barriers), the sellers can recruit help from other people to answer your questions. In any case, this keeps the conversation flowing and helps create a better rapport which can help you get the prices you want to pay.
Be prepared to look slight shocked
Haggling is sometimes like a game or some kind of dance so this surprised look you will wear is all part of it. Subliminally, it sets the tone and lets the seller know their price is not quite right for you. You do not even need to think about what price it is – it’s always going to be higher that what you should pay so practice your ‘surprised look’ at home before you venture out bargain hunting! 🙂